Assessing the status of media in Nepal. UNESCO launches pioneering base-line study
Nepal’s media have developed tremendously over the past decades. But do they operate in an adequate legal and policy framework? Are they really pluralistic? Do they contribute to democratic dialogue? And have they well trained journalists and a suitable infrastructure?
UNESCO’s pioneering base-line study “Assessment of Media Development in Nepal”, which will be launched on 19 December 2013 in Kathmandu, provides comprehensive material to analyze the country’s media landscape.
Using a multifaceted system of indicators, the study assesses Nepal’s print, broadcast and online media under five categories. They focus on media regulations, the plurality and diversity of media, the potential of media to provide a platform for democratic discourse, professional capacity building and infrastructural capacity. The study includes 99 concrete recommendations for further development of the media in Nepal.
“The assessment of Nepal’s media landscape is intended to accompany the country in its democratic transition and to foster free, independent and pluralist media”, says Axel Plathe, UNESCO Representative to Nepal.
Applying the diagnostic instrument of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators, the study contributes to present discussions on constitutional and legal reforms and media self-regulation mechanisms. It is intended to guide the efforts of all actors working for media development. It also provides a baseline for subsequent assessments of Nepal’s media landscape using the five categories.
The study was undertaken between 2011 and 2013. Its preparation was coordinated by a team of national experts and builds on analysis and suggestions made by representatives of government, media trade unions, professional associations and civil society.
The launching ceremony, which will be attended by media policy makers, academicians, journalists and government officials, is aimed at presenting the main findings of the study and exploring the possibilities of further use of UNESCO’s media development indicators for regularly assessing the state of Nepal’s media.
The study “Assessment of Media Development of Nepal based on UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators” (Kathmandu: UNESCO, 2013. – ISBN 978-9937-8446-5-9) is in Open Access available at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002254/225486E.pdf or as paper copies from the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu.
More about the study
Chapter 1 of the study deals with legal and policy frameworks relating to the media as a matter of both form and substance. It assesses the capacity of Nepal’s media regulation system to contribute to freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity of the media. It analyses the existing legal and policy frameworks and regulatory systems for broadcasting, and analyses other legal provisions that may restrict the work of journalists.
Chapter 2 discusses existing media laws and regulations in Nepal and their compliance with international standards.
Chapter 3 analyzes the capacity of Nepal’s media to serve as a platform for democratic discourse. It assesses how media reflects the diversity of society, looks at the status of public service broadcasting in Nepal, analyzes the media’s capacity for self-regulation and assesses how far media is able to respond to the requirements for fairness and impartiality.
Chapter 4 focuses on professional capacity building and supporting institutions that underpin freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity. It examines the availability of professional media training and an academic course in media practice and discusses the presence of trade unions, professional organizations and civil society organizations in the media profession.
Chapter 5 examines whether the infrastructural capacity in Nepal is sufficient to support independent and pluralistic media. It assesses the availability and use of technological resources by the media and examines the press, broadcasting and ICT penetration, providing concrete recommendations for action.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Laxman Datt Pant
UNESCO Office in Kathmandu
Communication and information unit
Tel: 977-1-5554396/ 5554769 Ext 30, Mobile: 9851033539
Email: - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathmandu, 17 December 2013
Press Release UNESCO/KAT 23/2013
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